First and second feature films awarded at the Viennale
– Kurdwin Ayub’s first feature film Son won the Vienna Film Award, while fellow Austrian Leni Lauritsch Rubicon received the special jury prize
(g/r) Son director Kurdwin Ayub, Viennale director Eva Sangiorgi and Rubicon director Leni Lauritsch (© Viennale/Alexi Pelekanos)
The 60e Vienna concluded on October 31 with the award ceremony and the screening of A nice morning [+see also:
film profile] by Mia Hansen – Love. The film premiered at Cannes’ Directors’ Fortnight earlier this year, where it won the Europa Cinemas label award for Best European Film.
As for the laureates of the Viennale, the Austrian director Kurdwin Ayub won another award for his first feature film Son [+see also:
interview: Kurdwin Ayub
film profile], the Vienna Film Award for Best Austrian Film. The film tells the story of three young women who become a popular musical act in the Viennese Kurdish community and move towards an interpersonal spinoff. The jury praised Ayub for “skillfully managing to break away from a cliche or two.” It is a film “worth watching, entertaining, but also multi-layered and socio-politically relevant”.
The Special Jury Prize went to another Austrian director and first feature film director Leni Lauritschand its sci-fi drama Rubicon [+see also:
interview: Leni Lauritsch
film profile]. The film grapples with a futuristic dystopian scenario in which the difficult question must be asked: do we save ourselves or save others? The jury applauded Lauritsch for his bravery in filming a genre film as his first project and commented that “it is remarkable how many narrative levels and philosophical questions are intertwined in this film.”
The Erste Bank MehrWERT award was shared between two short films. The jury justified this decision by the fact that these two films address two of the most fundamental areas of human experience: sex and death. The first winner was Eve Heller with Sing into oblivion, which uses observational photography and found footage to evoke a meditation on death and memory in Vienna’s Jewish cemetery, which was partially destroyed by the Nazis and now lies derelict. The second prize went to John Soldier for blind dateto show the immaterial aspects of human experience and its physical manifestations, in this case desire and the body.
The readers’ jury prize DER STANDARD is dedicated to a film which does not yet have a distributor in Austria and for which a theatrical release in Austria is particularly recommended. This year it was the Ukrainian-French-Chilean-Luxembourgish-German co-production Pamfir [+see also:
interview: Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk
film profile] by Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk. The jury called it a film that “cut into our bones and we left the screening quite dazed and excited by what we had just seen”. It centers on a man who returns to his small, isolated Ukrainian hometown and the conflicts he faces.
The FIPRESCI prize was awarded to Switzerland Disorders [+see also:
interview: Cyril Schäublin
film profile] by Cyril Schaublinhis second feature film which, like Ayub Son has already reaped its share of rewards. The jury praised it for “its depiction of an original international atmosphere in a small place, for its questioning of our understanding of history and for seeing watchmaking through the prism of history”.
Overall, the festival proclaimed the special anniversary edition a success. 73,700 people attended the Viennale between October 20 and November 1, which corresponds to an occupancy rate of 71%. “This 60e edition was a celebration of cinema and conviviality,” said the director of the festival Eva Sangiorgi declared. “We’ve all felt it, in the energy of packed theaters, in the lively conversations between writers and audiences, in the expressions of all those people we’ve shared so many experiences with through the films. “
Here is the full list of winners:
Vienna Prize of the DER STANDARD Readers’ Jury
Pamfir [+see also:
interview: Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk
film profile] – Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk (Ukraine/France/Chile/Luxembourg/Germany)
Erste Bank MehrWERT Award
Sing into oblivion – Eve Heller (Austria) (short film)
blind date – Jan Soldat (Austria/Germany) (short film)